November Same-Store Sales Report

ICSC just released November same-store sales figures (membership req.).

Sales for the month came in 3.5 percent above last year's figures. That's higher than the average monthly growth pace this year--which has been closer to 2.5 percent.

However, ICSC economist Michael Niemira cautions that the figure is a bit inflated because of a calendar shift this year in which there was an extra week post-Thanksgiving shopping data in most retailers' figures.

However, despite the relative strength in the reported aggregate, the November 2007 sales performance was inflated by a mismatched fiscal calendar for many retailers. Many retailers (espercially department stores) do not adjust for the mismatched fiscal calendar ("the 53rd week effect") between 2007 and 2006, which in turn means that there was one additional week of post-Thanksgiving sales in this year's November tally compared with the prior-year period. The impact of this effect was large as reflected by a retailer--Target--that did adjust to correct for the calendar distortion. Target reported a year-over-year comparable-store sales gain of 10.8% for November, but only 1.1% if further adjusted to a matched-calendar reference (adjusted figures are used for ICSC's aggregate if available).

Another view of the sales figures can be found here.

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